Photosynthetica

, Volume 56, Issue 1, pp 445–454 | Cite as

Anthocyanins function as a light attenuator to compensate for insufficient photoprotection mediated by nonphotochemical quenching in young leaves of Acmena acuminatissima in winter

Article

Abstract

Anthocyanins and nonphotochemical quenching (NPQ) are two important tools that provide photoprotection in plant leaves. In order to understand how plants use these tools for acclimation to changing seasonal conditions, we investigated pigments, antioxidative capacity, and photosynthesis in leaves of an evergreen tree (Acmena acuminatissima) in two contrasting seasons. Young leaves of A. acuminatissima appeared in distinct colors, being light green in summer and red in winter due to the presence of anthocyanins. In the winter young leaves, anthocyanins contributed less than 2% to the antioxidant pool. In the summer, young leaves had higher NPQ than that of mature leaves, but in the winter, they did not derive any NPQ-related advantage over mature leaves. These results suggest that the accumulation of anthocyanins in young leaves in the winter may compensate for the insufficient photoprotection afforded by NPQ and that anthocyanins function as a light attenuator to protect the photochemical apparatus against excess light.

Additional key words

chlorophyll fluorescence evergreen tree gas exchange photoprotection pigment season 

Abbreviations

Ci

intercellular CO2 concentration

Car

carotenoid

Chl

chlorophyll

DPPH

1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl

E

transpiration rate

ETR

electron transport rate

Fv/Fm

maximum photochemical efficiency of PSII

gs

stomatal conductance

ML

mature leaves

NPQ

nonphotochemical quenching

PN

net light-saturated photosynthetic rate

ΦPSII

effective photochemical efficiency of PSII

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Copyright information

© The Institute of Experimental Botany 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Food Engineering and Biology TechnologyHanshan Normal UniversityChaozhou, Guangdong ProvinceChina
  2. 2.Guangzhou Key Laboratory of Subtropical Biodiversity and Biomonitoring, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Biotechnology for Plant Development, School of Life SciencesSouth China Normal UniversityGuangzhouChina
  3. 3.Division of Plant Sciences, Research School of Biology, College of Medicine, Biology and EnvironmentThe Australian National University, ActonAustralian Capital TerritoryAustralia

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